We've waited and waited, and now Apple and Verizon have made a million dreams come true: the iPhone is coming to Big Red. After talking up his new LTE network a bit, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam confirmed a CDMA (non-LTE) version of the iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless next month. Talks started way back in 2008, and the phone has been in testing for a year -- it sounds like they wanted to get this one right. Current Verizon customers will be able to pre-order on February 3rd for the standard $200 price for the 16GB model on a two year agreement, $300 for the 32GB version -- everyone else can order on February 10th (see it compared with AT&T's iPhone 4). Just to clarify and put any wild rumors to bed, the phone is Verizon 3G (EV-DO) only, no 4G data or GSM roaming. It's not a world phone or an AT&T + Verizon phone, it's just a Verizon phone.
Outside of Verizon connectivity, the phone is basically unchanged, although Verizon's CDMA network doesn't support simultaneous voice and data as with the GSM version. It does have the new antenna design we were hearing about last week, but that's just because CMDA requires a different configuration of antennas. (Apple says they didn't go LTE just yet because first-gen chipsets would force unwanted design decisions, and customers want a Verizon device now.) That slight modification also equates to a slight bump in where the volume buttons and mute switch -- a new case might be required. Software-wise the big innovation is five user WiFi hotspot functionality, something that's standard on Android phones, while Apple has kept the iPhone only able to tether directly to one computer.
Check out our full hands-on with the Verizon iPhone right here, and stay tuned -- we've got lots more coming up.
Verizon iPhone 4 full hands-on
Verizon iPhone 4 detailed comparison shots
History lesson: the run-up to the Verizon iPhone
January 11, 2011 @ 11 AM ET
Verizon iPhone Liveblog
Verizon iPhone hands-on
BASKING RIDGE, New Jersey and CUPERTINO, California-January 11, 2011-Verizon Wireless and Apple® today announced that the iPhone® 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning on Thursday, February 10. Qualified Verizon Wireless customers will be given the exclusive opportunity to pre-order iPhone 4 online on February 3, ahead of general availability.
iPhone 4 is the most innovative phone in the world, featuring Apple's stunning Retina™ display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone resulting in super crisp text, images and video, and FaceTime®, which makes video calling a reality. iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless will also include new Personal Hotspot capabilities allowing customers to use iPhone 4 to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.
"We are pleased to introduce millions of wireless users to the industry leading iPhone 4 on the nation's most reliable network," said Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon. "This is an important step for the industry as two great companies join forces to give wireless customers one of the most important technological additions to the mobile landscape this century."
"Verizon Wireless customers have told us they can't wait to get their hands on iPhone 4, and we think they are going to love it," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. "We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers."
iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD video recording, Apple's A4 chip, a 3-axis gyro and a beautiful glass and stainless steel design like no other mobile phone. iPhone 4 also comes with iOS 4, the world's most advanced mobile operating system, which includes multitasking, folders, Game Center, AirPlay® and AirPrint wireless printing. iPhone 4 customers have access to the world's most popular App Store℠ with more than 300,000 apps available in an incredible range of 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health and reference.
Pricing & Availability
iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning Thursday, February 10 for a suggested retail price of $199.99 for the 16GB model and $299.99 for the 32GB model with a new two year customer agreement. iPhone 4 will be available at more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores nationwide, online at www.verizonwireless.com/iphone, at Apple Retail Stores, at the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple Authorized Resellers, and by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Media can access high-resolution images in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.)
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 79,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.